Best Restaurants in the World – Part Two
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is eat. But not at the chain restaurants. I want taste like the locals. I want to eat what they’re eating and where they’re eating. I want to gorge on local dishes, not another hamburger. Thus, I thought it would be a cool idea to ask some of the top travel bloggers what they’re favorite restaurant was. Below is part two of their answers. If you thought part one reached the far corners of the Earth, part two reaches the far corners of the restaurant spectrum from Michelin star to spam to raw vegan!
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Bad Schoergau in South Tyrol, Italy – Heather on Her Travels
While I’m just as happy to eat in a local eatery as a top end restaurant, I was impressed by the food I tasted in South Tyrol, a region of North Italy that has no less than 20 Michelin Star restaurants. One stand-out moment was the meal we ate at Bad Schoergau, a fabulous boutique hotel in Val Sarentino that had recently been awarded its first Michelin Star. I’d have loved to stay at the hotel, with stylish alpine décor, sheepskin throws and natural wood. On this occasion our group ate in a cosy wood paneled room of the restaurant with a traditional stove.
Our multi-course tasting menu was all inspired by the natural ingredients of the region. Of course there was plenty of Michelin star theatre as tiny morsels were assembled before us, frozen mist swirled from the plate and unusual ingredients such as bee pollen were added as garnish. The stand-out for me was the way that the flavours of the mountains had been elevated to such levels; the pine, the speck (cured ham), the pasta and local game came out in sublime and unexpected forms. Our meal ended with a desert which consisted of mousses, creams and jellies all based on the creamy local milk of the region which prompted many oohs and aahs. The chef, Egon Heiss, later told us that we were eating ‘eight years of work on a plate’. Highly recommended to treat yourself to the true tastes of South Tyrol, Italy.
Heather Cowper shares her travel stories, photos and videos at Heatheronhertravels.com and you can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can read of her South Tyrol stories about Cycling with wine and apples or climbing her very first Via Ferrata.
Spam Jam in Manila, The Philippines – The Travel Tart
Spam Jam, believe it or not, is a restaurant in Manila, the Philippines, which specializes in Spam Recipes! I came across this culinary delight that could possibly make the world’s top restaurants when I visited the Philippines in 2004.
Spam Jam is located in the Makati City area of Manila, in amongst a series of massive shopping centres. Here is the store front of Spam Jam, which really does stand out like dog’s testicles.
When you look at the menu, it sounds like the Monty Python sketch about the much ridiculed form of meat. No joke! Some of the menu items are:
- Spam Burger
- Spam and Egg
- Spam Spaghetti
- Spam Baked Macaroni
- Spam Nuggets
- Spam Caesar Salad
Spam is actually part of the staple diet in the Philippines. Filipinos eat over 1 million kilograms of Spam each year! That’s because it’s a relatively inexpensive form of meat that’s readily available, and won’t go off in a hurry. Spam will survive in the cupboard for centuries, and probably has a half-life longer than radioactive nuclear waste produced from power stations!
Personally, I’m not a big fan of Spam, but if you like it, take a trip to the Philippines and have a big feed at Spam Jam!
Bemba in Bratislava, Slovakia – Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler
Trying to be vegan, and not just that, but mostly raw vegan on the road can sometimes be a pain in the ass, to be honest. So when I find a restaurant where they are willing to make something special for me, I am the happiest kid in the world. So imagine how freaking awesome I feel when I bump into a raw vegan restaurant where all the meals are 100% raw and 100% vegan without any animal products! The best ever!
I never knew there were many people on the same diet in my home country Slovakia until I heard of the restaurant called Bemba in Bratislava. Since my first visit there back in summer 2013, I just have to go back there each time I am in the capital. I have tried almost all the meals on the menu but my completely favorite one is sushi. I know sushi is mostly raw anyway, but this one is raw vegan made of nori sea grass, avocado, carrots, celery, cucumber, lettuce and some other secrets. One sushi roll costs 5,80 euros and is really enough. You can even wrap it in a take-away box to take with you and eat even with your fingers when you don’t happen to travel with any cutlery. Finger-licking, I promise!
Alex from of Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler is a crazy Slovak girl who made traveling the reason of her life. She writes mostly about crazy travel, fun adventures and sexy photos from her trips. Alex also focuses on adventure and spa activities in every destination and helps people with raw vegan diet, healthy lifestyle and yoga.
Restaurant Chez Chose in Montreal, Canada – Moi, mes souliers…
Sometimes the best things are close to home! My all-time favourite restaurant is close by: Restaurant Chez Chose in Montreal, Canada, a family-owned bistro where the menu changes regularly and features fresh products from a variety of the province’s passionate producers. The “ardoise”-style menu has great classics like Maurel Coulomb foie gras, Stanstead rabbit and other Quebec terroir delights.Croquettes at Restaurant Chez Chose in Montreal, Canada – Photos Courtesy of Moi, mes souliers…
This restaurant was created by a wildly blended family of experienced restauration professionals, lovers of good food, and fond of conviviality. As they say themselves they “covet the stars, a ton of stars… that burst in the eyes of our guests as the adventure begins and once it is complete!”
Jennifer Doré Dallas is a blogger, foodie and paparazzi who has traveled to 35+ countries. While traveling, she has a Ziploc bag addiction and hates umbrellas. Stuff she can’t leave behind? Her notebook and camera (ok, ok, her iPhone as well…). Follow her adventures at Moi, mes souliers, on Twitter at @moimessouliers or on her Facebook page at Moi, mes souliers.
Isao in Bangkok, Thailand – Where’s the Gos
One of my best meals was in Bangkok at Isao, a sushi restaurant. I was with a tour group at the time and our tour leader brought us there because it was his favorite sushi restaurant in town. This was my first time having sushi in Thailand and I assumed I was going to see American prices (I laugh at myself for that now). The menu was pretty affordable so I planned on feasting.
Our guide encouraged us to look at the Signature menu which was the restaurant’s personal creations. I was feeling brave so I went with the Chicago Crazy Spicy. I typically stay clear of spicy anything. I’m spicy enough as it is so I’m told…. The roll consisted of three types of fish, avocado, some spice, and the typical rice and seaweed.
My taste buds orgasimed a couple of times. All in one night. I loved it so much (along with everything else I ordered) that I went back a couple of nights later. About two months later, when I was traveling from Chiang Mai to Phuket, I added a pit-stop in Bangkok just so I could return to the restaurant and get that roll. I’m not kidding. Writing this is making me hungry and I’m developing cravings that will be hard to fulfill….
Melissa quit my life in New York and went to Thailand where she backpacked around Asia for a little over 5 months. She’s currently doing the whole working holiday thing in Australia. All the while, she travels with a card board cut out of Ryan Gosling’s head. You can follow her adventures and Ryan Gosling’s head at Where’s the Gos.
Kachelofen in Bamberg, Germany – The Wandering Gourmand
Given that the city of Bamberg boasts nine breweries for its 70,000 residents and 400 some breweries in the surrounding countryside, one would think I’d come away with more of a memory of breweries than restaurants. But no, the best restaurant that I’ve ever eaten at is Kachelofen, a traditional Franconia restaurant in Bamberg.
We arrived into Bamberg later than planned as we overslept were hungover after a wild night at Starkbierfest in Munich. We checked into our hotel and were famished having only eaten a buttered pretzel all day. The receptionist recommend Kachelofen for a glimpse at the local Franconian cuirsine. The restaurant was charming with blue and white checkered table clothes and dark wood walls. Each table was delicately finished with a candle and yellow flower. The place was so quaint that halfway through dinner another couple was seated at our table. While we didn’t speak each other’s language, we exchanged smiles and Prosts.
I feasted on roasted pork belly with sauerkraut and potato dumplings. The meat was succulent, falling apart with the touch of my fork, and the fat was perfectly crisp. I paired the dish with an original Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. The smokiness of the beer and the savory of the pork belly was like deconstructed bacon in my mouth. The sauerkraut was a harmonious blend of sweet and sour, with hints of the meat it was most likely roasted with and caraway. No single flavor overpowered the other. Between the food and the ambience, was the best meal of my life.
Bryan runs The Wandering Gourmand travel blog and has traveled to five continents, 19 countries, and 70 cities over the past eight years, all while holding down a full-time job. He also has a passion for exploring regional foods and drinking craft beer. He wants to help you taste the world, too. Click here for instant access to his free guide 8 Steps to Going on Your Dream Vacation.